Fall Fire Fest: The Celebration Continues

Penguin Productions is inviting students to welcome the cool, fall weather at Fall Fire Fest — a bonfire, concert, and pep rally next Thursday night. photo Courtesy of Penguin Productions.
Penguin Productions is inviting students to welcome the cool, fall weather at Fall Fire Fest — a bonfire, concert, and pep rally next Thursday night. photo Courtesy of Penguin Productions.

Youngstown State University’s Fall Fire Fest is returning for its second year in honor of Homecoming Week.

Students, faculty and anyone that lives in Youngstown are invited to attend the free event. The festival will take place on the green on Grant Street in Youngstown on Thursday, Oct. 16 from 7 to 11 p.m.

Penguin Productions, along with Part Athletics, Local Acts and The Campus Recreation Center, sponsor the event. Local businesses in Youngstown have also partnered to help with the event.

Taylor Garland, Macey Nortey and Carolyn Jesko — Penguin Productions committee members  —  are coordinating
this year’s event, and have been busy lining up festivities to include this year. Jesko explained that the festival started out last year as a celebration of Homecoming, but has grown into a larger fall event for everyone in Youngstown.

“Live on Lincoln was our [Penguin Productions] major event this year. We normally have two main events, one in spring and the other in fall, and we started Fall Fire Fest last year. We still wanted to keep it going because it is a really good program to partner with Homecoming, athletics and everyone. We’re just really working on creating the atmosphere around Fall Fire Fest,” Jesko said.

Garland added that the event allows everyone in Youngstown to celebrate fall together.

“We just wanted to host a fall event where you could be outside, enjoy the weather … that whole fall atmosphere and provide some kind of live entertainment,” said Garland.

The event will feature local bands such as The Vindy’s, the Labra Brothers and The River’s Own. Nortey said that Penguin Productions was trying to incorporate a unique theme and find musicians that appeal to YSU students.

“Obviously we had Life in Color partner with the Covelli Center and that brought in a completely different crowd because it’s electronic dance music and dance music, so we drew a different crowd there whereas in the spring, we did the live on Lincoln theme and brought in a diverse group of bands. I think we’re going with that theme,” Nortey said. “We’re going to try and pull different genres of music and see what we can come up with just to kind of appease our student population.”

The committee members also said that Coach Eric Wolford is going to speak sometime during the night for a Penguin Pride Rally, where he will enthuse students for the football game. The event will also feature a variety of food vendors, drink vendors and a bonfire later on in the night, along with a few other surprises.

“It’s like a bonfire, pep rally concert. Students get free cider, free hot chocolate and free caramel corn provided by Student Government. It’s going to be a really casual atmosphere. Hay, straw for everyone to sit on, a beer vendor, a cash bar sponsored by the Catholic Student Association, a photo booth sponsored by Housing and more,” Jesko said.

Nortey said that over 700 students attended last year’s event, and the committee hopes to have an even better turnout this year. The committee expressed excitement for the upcoming event.

“I am so excited. So much planning goes into it and you don’t even realize it. On the day of the event, it’s just like ‘Wow, we did this.’ I’m just pumped,” Nortey said.

Garland said that she is excited as well, and that getting to see all of their planning unfold at the event is rewarding.

“It’s just the best when you are there at night and you step back and see everyone enjoying themselves and having fun … it’s one of the best feelings,” Garland said.

Jesko added that the group committed a significant amount of time and energy to the festival, and hopes that students enjoy themselves next Thursday.

“We just want to provide students with an opportunity to hang out and have a good time on a Thursday night for Homecoming,” Jesko said.